Glen J. Culler (1927-2003)

Photo of Glen CullerDr. Glen J. Culler joined UCSB's faculty in 1959. Trained as a pure mathematician at Berkeley and UCLA, he nevertheless brought with him working experience of the computational aspects of applied mathematics and physics. Dr. Culler's work in networking, signal and speech processing, and computer architecture has provided much of the foundation on which today's computing environment has been built, underlying our current ability to communicate, solve problems, and expand our horizons using computers.

Thirty years ago, while many engineers, scientists, and mathematicians were attracted to computers for their computational power, Dr. Culler presented a radically different vision. He saw the computer as an extension of the human intuition and intellect, and envisioned users sitting at a computer to solve problems in real time by interacting directly with the machine. Electronic mail, programmable calculators, function keys, and voice message systems are a few examples of technologies that are the direct outgrowth of Glen Culler's innovative concepts. Another first, Glen's interactive UCSB On- Line System, was the primary reason the University was chosen as one of the four original sites for the ARPAnet, now the Internet.

From our perspective as users of modern high-performance personal computers with graphical user interfaces and multimedia capabilities, Dr. Glen Culler's work stands out clearly as a vision of the future, many years ahead of its time and many years ahead of the technology.